Government

Town Hall War Monuments to be Placed in Patriot Park ‘Ring of Honor’

The three war monuments, the flag pole and cherry trees will be removed from in front of town hall. Credits: Brian Marschhauser

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Following an uproar from residents, Supervisor Michael Grace clarified this week that the three war monuments removed from in front of town hall to make way for handicapped parking spaces will be relocated to Patriot Park, where they will be the centerpieces of a “ring of honor” for the U.S. military.

Last month, the town board sought bids on the removal of the monuments, a flag pole and cherry trees from in front of town hall. Though four new handicapped spaces will be created as a result, the plan was criticized by residents who would prefer to keep town hall just the way it is.

The controversial plan was precipitated by a December 2016 lawsuit from Westchester Disabled on the Move, a Yonkers-based nonprofit organization, that claimed town hall was not compliant with the federal act because of insufficient handicapped parking spaces.

Sign Up for E-News

When news of the plan made its way to Facebook, dozens of residents expressed their displeasure with it, particularly the removal of war monuments from in front of town hall.

The anxiety comes on the heels of violent protests in Charlottesville, Va., prompted by the town council’s decision to remove and sell the statue of Robert E. Lee, a general who commanded the Confederate Army in the American Civil War.

The three war monuments in front of town hall are stones bearing plaques honoring Yorktown residents who were killed serving in World War I, World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam wars. The World War I monument was erected in 1919, the World War II monument in 1952, and the Korean and Vietnam war monument in 1968.

Unlike in Charlottesville, Yorktown is not removing the monuments for political reasons, Grace said.

“The only reason why the war memorial monuments are being relocated is to make town hall ADA-compliant,” Grace told Yorktown News.

Additionally, the town’s settlement agreement with Westchester Disabled on the Move was filed on May 30—more than two months prior to the events in Charlottesville.

Grace said the war monuments will be used in a “ring of honor” bordering Patriot Park, which is adjacent to town hall. In the ring of honor will also be five flags honoring the different branches of the U.S. military—Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy.

Grace stressed that he embraces Yorktown’s history. In fact, he said, the Railroad Station, Zino’s barn, the Pines Bridge Monument and the war monuments will all be stops along the North County Trailway, making for a “historical corridor” in the downtown Yorktown Heights area.

“If any communities are looking to get rid of their monuments, they can certainly give us a call,” Grace said.

In addition to creating the handicapped spaces by Oct. 2, the settlement agreement (embedded below) with Westchester Disabled on the Move also requires Yorktown to pay $3,500 in attorney’s fees. The cost of the removal and relocation of the town hall items will not be known until bids are returned.

Though he applauds the plan to create handicapped spaces in front of town hall, the executive director of the organization that sued Yorktown said he never asked for the potentially pricey plan that Yorktown settled on.

All Melvyn Tanzman wanted, he said, was for the existing spaces in front of town hall to be designated as handicapped spaces. He said they were designated as handicapped spaces in November 2013, but the signs were removed four months later.

“I didn’t want it to be a news story,” Tanzman said. “I just wanted the spaces in front.”

Though it will cost more, he said, the town’s plan “really is the better solution” in regards to safety.

Regarding the uproar over the removal of the war monuments, Tanzman, a Democrat who sought the party’s nomination for supervisor, called the complaints “pretty appalling.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Yorktown

The Meaning of the Election Results

There are no national implications from last Tuesday’s election results. Yet, there was our very own senator, Chuck Schumer, saying, “This was a profound election result. This was the rejection of Donald Trump personally, and this was the rejection of Donald Trump’s policies. This was a full-fledged and total rejection of Donald Trump.” 

What else is he gonna say? ...

Reflections on Elections Past and Present

As I awaited the returns on election night, I couldn’t help but reflect on my very first electoral experience. It was a cold November night in 1991. Many months before, having been weaned on John F. Kennedy’s call to activism as well as my dad’s living example of community involvement, I answered an ad in the North County News which called on any persons interested in running ...

Get Your Gig On

It’s understandable that when people see empty storefronts, they infer it’s the mark of economic malaise. It is not. What’s not taken into account by jumping to that conclusion is that times change, marketplace dynamics change, shopping habits change.

Consumers are spending money, all right, just in different places and in different ways. A storefront that made sense in past ...

One More Doggone Diet

“I caught the dog looking at himself in the full-length mirror today,” I said to my husband. “I think he’s feeling a little self-conscious about his thighs. And he’s worried about putting on weight over the holidays.”

“The dog is worried?” my husband asked.

“Yes, he's noticed that he’s put on a few pounds since Halloween and he ...

The Importance of Reading to Your Baby

Dear Dr. Linda,

I have a 3-month-old baby and have been reading to her from the day she was born. My husband has dyslexia and I’m concerned that she may have inherited it. Will this prevent it?

Madison

Dear Madison,

I wish there was a guarantee that your baby wouldn’t inherit her dad’s “reading gene” but there isn’t. Whether she has a genetic ...

A Belated, Heartfelt Thank You

November 21, 2017

To the editor,
It is a dirty job, but someone has to do it! 

Yes, we are talking about all the litter on the sides of the roads in Somers. Litter clean-up is a never-ending job, but thanks to the dedicated residents and businesses of Somers, the task gets easier and easier each year.

The Somers Litter Task Force would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to all Somers ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_4fb08b9241797e087f00_murphy-to-host-first-annual-hudson-valley-turkey-trot

Thu, November 23, 8:15 AM

Yorktown

Hudson Valley Turkey Trot

Health & Wellness

Fri, November 24, 12:30 PM

Support Connection Office, Yorktown Heights

Advanced Stage Women’s Cancers Support Group

Health & Wellness

Fri, November 24, 6:30 PM

American Legion, Yorktown

Designer Bag Bingo

Community Calendar